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Sharyn County General Manager – Procurement, Property and Fleet  Jemena

Location: Australia

Sharyn County

Jemena and Zinfra

General Manager – Procurement, Property and Fleet

Sharyn County holds a Masters of Commercial Law (MComLaw) and Business Administration (MBA) and is a Member Australian Institute of Company Directors (MAICD).

She also holds a number of World CC accreditations including Contract and Commercial Management Expert (CCME), Supplier Relationship Management Practitioner (SRMP) and Fellow. 

Sharyn's career has spanned more than 20 years in senior commercial roles across the energy, technology, engineering, construction, outsourcing and services industries.

In addition to solid leadership skills, Sharyn brings a passion for, and demonstrated ability to deliver transformation and sustainable outcomes across the business, commercial and contracting lifecycle. 

What is your professional background and how did you become involved in the world of commerce and contracting?

Over the last 11 years I have held several senior leadership positions within the Jemena group, with the most recent being the Enterprise General Manager Procurement, Property and Fleet where responsibility includes managing a centralised procurement, property, fleet and plant group delivering across the Jemena and Zinfra group of companies.

Prior to this I held the role of GM Commercial within EB Services (A Singapore Power Company) where responsibilities included leading all commercial and procurement requirements for the group including the development and implementation of technology sourcing strategies.

I am an active supporter of World Commerce and Contracting through my work on the Australian Advisory Board and previously held Board positions for not for profit companies.

What are two personal achievements and contributions through your career?

Inspiring and influencing others
I am driven by making a difference to the procurement, commercial and contact management profession through involvement in mentoring and communities of practice enabling shared learnings and ideas to drive best practices and innovation. I give my time to share with others at meetings, conferences and membership groups.

I am involved in a number of internal and external mentoring programs and believe having a good mentor is key so I am willing to take on anyone who reaches out for support and have had some great mentors over my career.

I am also motivated to build and maintain strong relationships with suppliers and partners to deliver mutually beneficial outcomes along with a passion for people and creating an environment that fosters and enables success and achievement. I have developed supplier relationship programs that align values across groups and have driven best practices and training in commercial and contracting across the broader organization. 

Early on in my career I was given some great advice that has stuck with me ‘make sure you repot yourself in your career’. So whenever an opportunity comes along to do something different and learn something new I have taken it. This is when the growth comes and has led to me taking on a number of roles and experiences outside my area of expertise that have enabled me to grow. 

These experiences have provided me with a diverse background enabling me to apply these learnings across other roles and share with those I lead and mentor. In commercial and contracting there are many sides to this space and having a diverse background you can apply to any role has benefitted the organizations I work for. Commerce and contracting brings together all aspects of the business lifecycle and bringing a diverse background to this enables you to influence and lead others with an understanding of their environment and challenges. 

I learnt that you do not need to be a subject matter expert to lead subject matter experts you just need to create an environment where they can be their best and clear the way for them to do their job. 

Covid-19 has illustrated the critical importance of helping women to realize their professional aspirations - what role have you played or are you currently playing within your organization to support women in their roles?

Being and leading as your authentic self and showing vulnerability is key during these times. Do not be afraid to wear your heart on your sleeve and be vulnerable. This helps others be ok with how they are feeling as we are all feeling different degrees of vulnerability with COVID. I have led by example through this time showing my vulnerability and ensuring I am doing the things that energize me and encouraging others to do the same. 

I have worked hard to ensure my team are fully engaged with regular check ins and enabling flexibility in how the group works through choice and ensuring all team members have full support especially those with care duties while working from home.  I have encouraged, recognized, and rewarded all types of work done by the group during this time including helping the community and supporting our COVID response. 

I have been part of internal and external mentoring groups and have been a sponsor of our diversity and inclusion group developing key inclusion and diversity programs including a mentoring program supporting women who are passionate to drive change and inclusion across the group especially offering broader support during this time. I have increased my check ins with those I mentor, encouraging them to use this time for further self-development and learning as well as providing insight into how I am dealing with it.